The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team and franchise that is part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) of the U.S.A. The franchise has its base of operations in the State’s capital and largest city, Indianapolis, Indiana, located in the center of the State.
The Indiana Fever of the WNBA, also owned by Melvin & Herb Simon, are the Pacers’ sister team and also play at Conseco Fieldhouse as well: the home stadium to both franchises. The Indiana Pacers mascot, Boomer, is one of the more popular mascots and appears often for the NBA.
Despite missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 80’s, the 2007/08 season displayed many signs of growth in the team, especially towards the end of the season.
Off-court legal distraction from Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels, and Shawne Williams in the middle of the season did not help the Pacers struggles, and injuries to Tinsley and Jermaine O’Neal damaged the Pacers’ already weak defense and left almost all point guard duties to recently acquired Travis Diener, who saw minimal minutes on his previous NBA teams.
Despite this, and a 36/46 record, the Pacers had a very strong finish to the season, which included a desperate attempt to steal the 8th seed from the Atlanta Hawks, and dramatic improvement in forwards Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy.
Both Granger and Dunleavy were involved in the voting for Most Improved Player, with Dunleavy finishing in the top 10. The two were also the first Pacer pair to score 1500 points each in a single season since Reggie Miller and Detlef Schrempf did it in the early 90s.
In May of 2010, after completing his rookie season, G A. J. Price suffered a knee injury during a charity pick-up game that would require surgery. His expected rehabilitation was to last between 4-6 months, to be back just in time for training camp.
The 2010 NBA Draft brought in five new faces for the Pacers. G Paul George (basketball) out of the Fresno State University in the first round and G Lance Stephenson from the University of Cincinnati in the second round.
The Pacers also selected F Ryan Reid from the Florida State University. The draft rights to Reid were traded on draft night to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange to the rights to F-C Magnum Rolle from the Louisiana Tech University. The Pacers signed Paul George (basketball) to his rookie contract on July 1, 2010. Lance Stephenson signed a multi-year contract with the team on July 22. 2010. As of September 20, Rolle has yet to be signed by the team.
On August 11, 2010, the Pacers acquired G Darren Collison and G-F James Posey from the New Orleans Hornets in a four-team, five-player deal. Troy Murphy was dealt to the New Jersey Nets within that trade. The gain of Collison has been a sign that the Pacers’ starting point guard dilemma has been solved for many years to come.
Off-the-court issues involving rookie Lance Stephenson (Allegations of pushing his current girlfriend down a flight of stairs after an argument.) and current Pacers’ G Brandon Rush (Suspended for five games by failing NBA drug policy for testing positive for marijuana for the third time.) have put a damper on the effects of the four-team trade earlier in the summer; however, the Pacers remain confident in their future.
There has been much speculation by local media that F Tyler Hansbrough has overcome much of his symptoms related to an ear infection last season and will be available for training camp.
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